It is thought that King Djoser's stone tomb started out having the standard shape of a mastaba. Then, as construction progressed, a concept evolved. Imhotep began to place one flat-topped stone structure atop another until he had created six steps by which the king could ascent to the heavens after death. The Egyptians had a firm belief in an afterlife and viewed their pharaohs as gods. These beliefs were a strong force that led to the piling up of stones to such a monumental scale.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built for Pharaoh Khufu so when he dies, it would be served as his tomb. Pharaoh Khufu could have built his pyramid because many of the other pyramids in the area have been found to be burial chambers for the various kings of Egypt The pyramid was a place where Pharaoh Khufu's body and belongings were placed, so it would be ready for the after life.
The Sphinx of Giza The Sphinx of Giza is a symbol that has represented the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. The body of a lion with the head of a king comes from the Egyptian culture symbolizing strength and wisdom. The sphinx is a carved out of the living rock. Egyptologists believe that the sphinx was built in 2500 BC in the fourth dynasty. From the north side the profile of the Sphinx reveals the proportion of the body to the head.
Interestingly, X-rays reveal that the mummy case of Paankhenamun does in fact contain a mummy inside dating back to the years of c. 945 – 715 B.C. The practice of mummification was the Egyptian people’s way of preserving the spirits of the Gods/Goddesses and royalty. The idea was that when these beings came back to life, they would be preserved and well prepared for their next lives. By the time of the New Kingdom, the Egyptians already had developed techniques of mummification, which were done under a priest’s supervision (Stokstad 114), and since Paankhenamun was the priest of Amun, he was most likely was in charge of these procedures. In the ancient Egyptian culture, the belief was that there was a life force and spirit inside of the body, known as the ‘Ka’.
The Egyptian Pyramids When most people think of Ancient Egypt they think of Pyramids. To construct such great monuments required a mastery of architecture, social organization, and art that few cultures of that period could achieve. The oldest pyramid, the Step-Pyramids, grow out of the abilities of two men, King Djoser and Imhotep. Djoser, the second king of 3rd dynasty, was the first king to have hired an architect, Imhotep, to design a tomb (Time-Life Books, 74). Imhotep was known as the father of mathematics, medicine, architecture, and as the inventor of the calendar (White, 40).
There is a belief that the gods lived on mountains thereby bringing the worshippers closer to heaven. Back then, only powerful priests were allowed to go inside the ziggurats. The most famous pyramids are found in Egypt, there are also known as the great pyramids. There were constructed with hard stone, glazed with limestone. This was a time on reflection of the old Kingdom in Egypt (2686-2181 B.C.E) on their political, and social stability.
This great pyramid is located on the northern edge of the Giza Plateau, which is 25 km outskirts, southwest of Cairo, Egypt. It is the only remaining standing monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Crystalink, 2011). It is said that the pyramid was built as the tomb for the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian King Khufu (known in Greek as Cheops). The pyramid is believed to have been built for over 20 years by a workforce of 100,000 oppressed Egyptian slaves (Cleveleys, 2011) and was completed at around 2560 BC. It took 10 more years to build a stone walkway that linked it to a temple that was in a valley below it (Krystek, 2010).
So when they were built they were built right. (Kallen 12) The main reason why the pyramids go with the culture is because the pharaoh. He forced them to build the pyramids. After they were built people just left them to stand. It is said that the pharaoh had them built for the purpose of him gaining the after life.
The Sphinx is half animal and half human with a lion’s body and human face, however many were unsure of who’s face it was. One of the other unanswered questions was who built it and why? In the documentary, “Secrets of the Sphinx” these questions are answered with different theories. The sphinx is the biggest individual stone in the world, one of the most studied monuments, and one of the monuments seen in the Giza plateau. The sphinx brought many theories and one that caught my attention is that the Sphinx was built by Djedefhor, son of Khufu and self proclaimed son of the sun-god Ra.
How were the ancient Egyptians able to know the exact area or position of these stars in order to align each of the three pyramids to them? The constructions of these pyramids also raise inquiries. 20,000 and 30,000 laborers were said to have finished the three tombs in an estimate of twenty-three years, cutting, transporting and assembling 2.3 million blocks of stone, with each block of stone weighing an estimate of 2.5lbs each (McCauley, 2014). Khufu’s pyramid reached a height of 451 feet high, and with that enormous amount of height, it is hard to imagine how the slaves were able to carry and transport the heavy blocks of stones to the topmost part of the pyramid with nothing but their